A place for a

10.04.2015

Growing up without a father – Part 4: Meeting my father

At the end of 2012, I visited my father on Hawaii. Instinctively, I expected him to be just another mother to me. Wanted him to be nice and give me whatever I wanted. Well he didn’t, to my dismay; he was the egoist my mother had promised. Yet he showed me great places and I saw him live a life in freedom, at a warm place, build houses for clients. My dad has the discipline to immediately wash whatever dishes he uses after he uses them. It’s a fantastic idea. My mother had never supported me with such plans; things had been left lying around, my mothers hair had been all over the bathroom, et cetera.

At some point, my dad scolded me for not helping in the household. I asked him what he wanted me to do. He said he wanted me to see it on my own, but gave a few examples. He was pissed at me and I was very uncomfortable; I would not be able to make him forgive me with mere words.

I decided to bring out the trash and mow the lawn. When I was finished with the work, my dad wouldn’t come hugging me; he wouldn’t tell me how great I was. He simply acknowledged it, and said: Good. It was the most natural thing in the world. What I felt there, I had never felt before: respect. Respect is not expressed through big words; those are reserved for deception. Respect is simply there and you both know it; it’s not a gift, for it isn’t granted for free; it’s not sympathy. While sympathy is a gift that can be hoped for, respect can be earned reliably through performance, discipline and good character. In a way, respect is not even transferred. It grows simultaneously both in the one who is to receive it and in the one who is to grant it. And when the moment comes, you connect.

And this thing, respect, filled me with a quiet confidence that could not be taken away. Because I knew I had the right to wear it as a badge of honor and it could not be taken away. And this confidence would be worth any discomfort in the world. It would be worth forgoing every pleasure. Because with it, you can gain anything. Without it, you are lost.

When I came back, I was depressed about the cold in Germany. My mother was away for five weeks during which I lived alone. During this time, I plotted to move out. I simply knew I would. When my mother came back, I didn’t ask her to approve. I announced my decision, immune to any emotional manipulation. My grandmother asked what my father had done to me; she expressed the wish to murder him. It didn’t phase me, it didn’t enrage me; it only disgusted me. Within two months, I entered my own flat, self-employed and supported by the job I had kept for years. I was free.

What followed within about eight months was the best period of my entire life. For the first time in my life, I had a positive outlook. I visited a penfriend I had never met and slept with her the same night, anxious but without self-doubts. After a graduation ceremony in London, I took a beautiful classmate I had been desperately in love with to the beach near Dover and kissed her. It was the most amazing and clear moment in my life. I knew: Everything was achievable and within reach, if only the effort and self-discipline was there. Whenever I search for an anchor or hope, this is what I think back at. Years of desperate craving that led nowhere; and then, without experience but with a positive mindset, I got the impossible. And the impossible didn’t possess me; I possessed the impossible. Got attention from other girls, too; nothing came of it, but I didn’t obsess. A girl at a party indicated interest to come home with me. I didn’t care about my notch count; I refused her because she was a negative, pitiful person.

The success went to my head. I had wielded my Divine Child so skillfully that I gave in to arrogance. Once more, I wasn’t satisfied with what I had and obsessed with girls. Then I came to the conclusion that this was silly and started out to lose the final 20 pounds of fat that still remained; discipline had become my friend. As I believed I was invincible, I chose a very unhealthy diet and pushed through with it for months. Headaches and fatigue would be with me, every day, but every day I would stand up for a cold shower, train on my guitar, work on a major project and, in my grandiose overestimation of myself, I would even invest hours of my evening on very thoroughly writing a book. In my work life, I would stare down people and make efforts to never smile or show any kind of emotion. All that despite the fact that I was beyond exhaustion. I almost couldn’t think clearly. I was convinced that I simply wasn’t trying hard enough.

Eventually, I broke. My mind didn’t work anymore. It simply failed me in following my orders. I started to eat sweet stuff. The sweetest stuff. I would gain back the twenty pounds I had lost. My mind had turned 180 degrees: After all, pleasure is what life is about. Eventually I felt lonely so I started to be super nice to everybody, fooling and charming all my colleagues. I gained another 20 pounds. Then I became depressed and stopped my attempts to be nice as I realized I had completely lost the positive outlook on life. From some point on, I lived and tortured myself for the mere memory of a great period of time. I thought: That is still me. I have to prove it. The narcissist had taken over once more, ironically trying to fake myself this time. I hated my job. I ate and lay in my bed watching porn and movies in all my spare time. Having demanded a pay raise, I was being grossly overpaid and realized that even a lot of money is worthless if you don’t have a vision. And in every one of my weak moments, my desire for a sex life kept nagging at me, making me miserable. I became depressed and angry and lost the will to live. Carelessly, I quit my job. I don’t know if I can pay my taxes. I have almost no sympathies left with anyone. One wall in my flat is covered with mold. I decide to make this blog. That is the end of 2014.

That is the end of my (hi-)story. And the start of my current journey.

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  • Mikke Musen

    Interesting reading. Appreciable self-honesty. Keep introspecting.